MRG’s activist-led grantmaking committee has selected 21 social change groups to receive $225,000 in grants. These groups are creating incredible change throughout Oregon and across progressive issues and they represent some of the most innovative and effective organizations in the state! We couldn’t fund their work without the support of hundreds of justice-minded donors who contribute to MRG each year. You can join them with a gift today.
CAPACES Leadership Institute, Woodburn: $17,000 – Founded by a network of nine community based, Latino-led social change organizations in the Mid-Willamette Valley, CAPACES Leadership Institute develops the skills and abilities of Oregon’s Latino leaders. CAPACES empowers emerging and established progressive leaders to put into practice the big ideas and values that define the Latino movement.
Central Oregon Jobs with Justice, Bend: $8,000 – Central Oregon Jobs with Justice is a coalition of 25 labor, community, and human rights groups. They have won concrete victories, including higher living standards, better working conditions, and increased rights for immigrants, people of color, mobile home park residents, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community.
Civil Liberties Defense Center, Eugene: $17,000 – CLDC strengthens grassroots activism in Oregon by educating people about their rights, providing legal defense for community activists, and challenging the persistent erosion of civil liberties.
Common Cause Oregon, Portland: $15,000 – Common Cause Oregon plays a vital role in safeguarding and improving Oregon’s democratic process. They believe every Oregonian deserves to be heard – regardless of their ability to make large campaign contributions and they lead the way in progressive campaign finance reform, improving how we elect our leaders, and ensuring that more voices are heard in the democratic process. A force for open, honest, accountable government, CCO has been empowering people to speak up for their electoral rights since 1970.
Community Alliance of Tenants, Portland: $15,000 – As Oregon’s only grassroots, tenant-controlled, tenant-rights organization, the Community Alliance of Tenants develops the leadership of low-income tenants to hold landlords and public officials accountable for unjust housing policies and practices. Community Alliances of Tenant’s leaders, renters themselves, take collective action to create more affordable, safe, and stable rental housing.
Disabled United in Direct Empowerment, Ashland: $8,500 – Disabled United in Direct Empowerment (DUDE) is an aggressive advocacy group led by and for the disabled community. Started in 2003 to counteract the severe cuts in state support for disability benefits and services, DUDE builds the leadership of people living with disabilities to organize for their rights.
Human Dignity Coalition, Bend: $8,000 – Founded in response to the virulent anti-gay ballot measures of the 1990’s, Human Dignity Coalition brings together diverse voices to create a grassroots social change movement in Central Oregon. HDC advances human dignity and equity for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) people through their organizing, education, and leadership development work.
Latino Club, Salem: $6,000 – Located in the Oregon State Penitentiary, the Latino Club’s vision is to create an environment within the prison that ensures everyone has the same access to education and work opportunities, regardless of race or ability to speak English. By tackling issues of racism and discrimination, the Latino Club helps their members successfully transition back into their communities.
Living Stages, Portland: $7,000 – Living Stages is a theatre organization built around the Theatre of the Oppressed model and creating a space for community reflection, empowerment, and collective action. Living Stages turns non-actors into actors- in the theatre and in society. Living Stages uses theater to train new leaders among those most impacted by systemic oppression by building anti-oppression tools and strategies on stage that can be used in wider life. Living Stages’ Streets to Stages program builds theatre teams with participants who are low-income or homeless, and bring the teams together for a Forum Theatre Convergence to discuss and debate political responses and collective action to the issues presented in the theatre.
Lotus Rising Project, Medford: $8,000 – Lotus Rising Project supports, organizes, and builds the leadership of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth and young adults in Southern Oregon. Their mission is to create a inclusive, affirming, and safe community for queer youth and to combat intolerance in all forms.
Lower Columbia Diversity Project, Astoria: $2,000 – In 2011 after the City of Astoria was challenged by multiple reports of overtly racist incidents, the Lower Columbia Diversity Project was convened by the mayor to enhance the visibility and prominence issues affecting communities of color. The Lower Columbia Diversity Project is building a large base of activists committed to developing progressive strategies for social change in Clatsop County by expanding understanding of how all oppressions are connected, anticipating backlash from dominant culture, and engaging the community in education forums and powerful conversations.
KSKQ Community Radio, Medford: $9,000 – As Rogue Valley’s community radio station, KSKQ is building a space for dialogue that empowers resilient communities and celebrates cultural diversity. KSKQ strengthens the progressive movement in Southern Oregon by providing a venue for grassroots groups to present their views while challenging the corporate-owned media that dominates the airwaves.
KPOV High Desert Community Radio, Bend: $15,000 – KPOV is radio by the people and for the people of Central Oregon. KPOV strengthens community and democracy by providing quality programming on topics of local interest and giving a voice to local communities through grassroots participation in independent, non-commercial radio.
OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Portland: $18,000 – OPAL organizes low-income communities of color in East Portland to advance racial, environmental, and economic justice. Through their Bus Riders Unite initiative, OPAL is putting transit-dependent riders at the decision-making table with TriMet and establishing a more equitable transit system for all Portland Metro area riders.
PFLAG Portland Black Chapter, Portland: $10,000 – PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Portland Black Chapter promotes the health and well-being of Black LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) Portlanders. The first African American chapter of PFLAG in the nation, the PFLAG Portland Black Chapter organizes and engages the LGBTQ community and allies in organizing, education, and advocacy.
Portland Jobs with Justice, Portland: $15,000 – Portland Jobs with Justice is a coalition of 90 labor, community, student, and faith-based groups who are united to defend the rights of all working people and advance social and economic justice for all members of the community. Portland Jobs with Justice engages unlikely allies to shift the balance of power so that everyone can have a decent standard of living, job security, and the right to organize.
Red Earth Descendants, Ashland: $6,000 – Red Earth Descendants is a grassroots, indigenous-based organization committed to creating healthy, sustainable community while preserving Native values, traditions, and culture. RED joins together indigenous youth, elders, families and regional tribes to share knowledge and skills, celebrate their culture and preserve their way of life.
Red Lodge Transition Services, Portland: $9,000 – Native Americans are grossly over-represented in Oregon’s prison population. Red Lodge Transition Services is a Native American organization working to reduce recidivism, prevent inter generational incarceration, and challenge the Oregon Department of Corrections to address religious freedom and basic human rights of Indigenous people.
Rural Organizing Project, Scappoose: $15,000 – The Rural Organizing Projects works with 65 member groups throughout rural Oregon to build the grassroots movement for social justice. Tackling issues from immigration to peace to healthcare to the economy, Rural Organizing Project is building rural progressive power and taking a stand for human dignity for all people.
Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice, Medford: $7,500 – Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice is building a broad movement for economic justice in Southern Oregon. They organize disenfranchised people to create a healthy community with more locally-owned businesses, sustainable economies, strong unions and responsive government.
Unete Center for Farmworker Advocacy, Medford: $9,000 – Through community education, cultural presentations, and advocacy, Unete Center for Farmworker Advocacy is creating a movement of farm workers and immigrants in Southern Oregon who have the power to defend their rights while also developing and implementing programs that directly benefit the community.